Finally, art which is based upon Christian principles and is animated by their spirit as something faithfully interpreting the sincere and freely expressed devotion of the faithful, has since the Council of Ephesus portrayed Mary as Queen and Empress seated upon a royal throne adorned with royal insignia, crowned with the royal diadem and surrounded by the host of Angels and Saints in Heaven, and ruling not only over nature and its powers but also over the machinations of Satan. ~ Pope Pius XII
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
That we may understand how horrible and detestable is this sin, which the demons make us commit, but which they do not commit themselves, we must consider what a Christian is. A Christian, created in the image of God, redeemed by the Blood of a God! A Christian, the child of God, the brother of a God, the heir of a God! A Christian, whose body is the temple of the Holy Ghost; that is what sin dishonours. We are created to reign one day in Heaven, and if we have the misfortune to commit this sin, we become the den of the devils. Our Lord said that nothing impure should enter into His kingdom. Indeed, how could a soul that has rolled itself in this filth go to appear before so pure and so holy a God?
We are all like little mirrors, in which God contemplates Himself. How can you expect that God should recognize His likeness in an impure soul? There are some souls so dead, so rotten, that they lie in their defilement without perceiving it, and can no longer clear themselves from it; everything leads them to evil, everything reminds them of evil, even the most holy things; they always have these abominations before their eyes; like the unclean animal that is accustomed to live in filth, that is happy in it, that rolls itself and goes to sleep in it, that grunts in the mud; these persons are an object of horror in the eyes of God and of the holy angels. See, my children, Our Lord was crowned with thorns to expiate our sins of pride; but for this accursed sin, He was scourged and torn to pieces, since He said Himself that after his flagellation all His bones might be counted.
O my children, if there were not some pure souls here and there, to make amends to the good God, and disarm His justice, you would see how we should be punished! For now, this crime is so common in the world, that it is enough to make one tremble. One may say, my children, that Hell vomits forth its abominations upon the earth, as the chimneys of the steam engine vomit forth smoke. The devil does all he can to defile our soul, and yet our soul is everything, our body is only a heap of corruption: go to the cemetery to see what you love, when you love your body. As I have often told you, there is nothing so vile as the impure soul. There was once a saint, who had asked the good God to show him one; and he saw that poor soul like a dead beast that has been dragged through the streets in the hot sun for a week.
By only looking at a person, we know if he is pure. His eyes have an air of candour and modesty which leads you to the good God. Some people, on the contrary, look quite inflamed with passion. . . . Satan places himself in their eyes to make others fall and to lead them to evil. Those who have lost their purity are like a piece of cloth stained with oil; you may wash it and dry it, and the stain always appears again: so it requires a miracle to cleanse the impure soul.
Friday, May 11, 2007
By a stroke of luck or by mere chance, any woman can become a mother. Nature has endowed her with the unique “maternal instinct” with the purpose of preserving the human species.
If it were not for that, what she would do when she heard that little, small creature weeping, wrinkled and constantly crying, would be to throw it into the garbage can.
But, thanks to that “maternal instinct,” she looks at it in ecstasy, and finds it precious, and disposes herself to take care of it for free until it turns 21, at least.
To be a mother is to ponder that blowing noses and changing diapers is much nobler than to finish school, to triumph in the business world or to remain thin.
To be a mother is to exercise that vocation without rest, always singing “brush your teeth, go to bed, do your homework, don’t smoke, drink milk.”
To be a mother is to worry about immunization, clean ears, school, offensive language, boyfriends and girlfriends without feeling offended or hurt when your children hush you up or slam the door in your face… just because they do not have anything better to do…
To be a mother is to stay awake waiting until your daughter comes back from a party and, once she gets home, pretend to be asleep so as not to disturb her.
To be a mother is to tremble when your son learns to drive, rides motorcycles, starts to shave, falls in love, takes exams or has a terrible accident.
To be a mother is to sob when you see your children happy and bite your tongue and smile when you see them suffering.
To be a mother is to be a baby-sitter, a chauffer, a cook, a doctor, a policeman, a confessor, a mechanic and do the laundry without getting paid.
To be a mother is to give all your love and your time without expecting to be gratified or thanked.
Mother is the one who loves us and takes care of us every single day of her life and cries with emotion because we remember her once a year: on Mother’s Day.
The worst defect that mothers have is that they die before we are able to reward them for part of everything of what they have done. They leave us feeling handicapped, guilty and irreversibly orphans.
We are lucky to have only one… because NO ONE would be able to cope with the pain of losing her twice.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Since I have already posted a "tribute" to Pius XII (in pictures), it's now Bl. Pius IX's turn - due to the fact that he is one of my favorite Popes! I wish I had video clips of him...
The Pope of the Immaculate Conception!
Body of Pope Pius IX
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
O.K. Here is another short video (10 mins and 35 secs) of Pope Pius XII. This was a Mass in honor of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Catherine of Sienna at the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.
Almost at the end, you will here our Pope preach!
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Salus Pópuli Románi
This is a video (short) of the coronation of the image of Our Lady under the title "Salvation of the Roman People."
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
In the Old Testament, for the sacrifices, the priest first raised the victim, and then he moved it along from east to west. This movement formed the figure of the Cross. The High priest, and all other simple priest, blessed the people after the sacrifice doing the same movements. At the time of Ezekiel, when the abominations of Jerusalem were at its peak, a mysterious person received the order to cross the city and mark with the sign T the foreheads of those who cried for the iniquities of that guilty city. All those who were marked with the Sign of Salvation were spared from death. Tertullian and Jerome say: “The Tau Sign, marked on the foreheads of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who cried for the crimes of that city, protected them against the exterminating angels. The Sign of the Cross on the forehead is an assurance that those who are marked will not be the victims of the devil.” The Philistines had reduced the Israelites to the most humiliating servitude. Samson begins to free them. Unfortunately, the strong one of Israel let himself be surprised, and was chained and blinded. Meanwhile, Samson, meditating on how to take revenge, plans to kill thousands of his enemies in one blow. Providence disposed that he would accomplish his plan making the Sign of the Cross. “Standing in between the two columns that held the building,” says St. Augustine, “the strong one of Israel extends his arms in the form of a Cross. In such an omnipotent attitude, he pushes against the columns, makes them tremble, and destroys his enemies.”
From there and many other examples in the Bible we can see that to pray with the arms extended, forming the Sign of the Cross, has been known from the most remote times of antiquity; and its mysterious omnipotence has been experienced. In a certain sense then, the Sign of the Cross would say what the Savior Himself said: “All power has been given to Me in the Heavens and on the earth.” Heaven itself is disposed in the form of the Sign of the Cross: What do the four cardinal points represent if not the four lines of the cross and the universality of its virtue.
Demons are fallen angels. Their intellect, strength, agility, etc., are superior to ours; their number is incalculable. Jealous that the children of Adam were called to eternal happiness, which they had lost, their only aim and occupation is our destruction, increasing or passions, creating dangerous situations, darkening in us the gift of faith, destroying our moral sense, suffocating our remorse, making us accomplices of their rebellion in order to make us their companions in Hell!!! So, as sure as our battles, and man being in so weak a condition, could it be conceivable that Divine Wisdom would not give us a way to defend ourselves? On the contrary, in order to help us in our battles, God has given to man a powerful and universal weapon that is always at the reach of everyone. What could this weapon be???
Let us question every century, above all the Christian centuries. They respond with a unanimous voice that this weapon is the Sign of the Cross! This weapon had been used by the most learned and holy men in the East as well as in the West. St. John Chrysostom says: “Do not ever go out of your house without making the Sign of the Cross. It will be for you a shield, a weapon, an inexpugnable tower. Neither man nor demon will ever dare to attack you, if they see you clothed with this armor.” Origen says: “The Sign of the Cross is the invisible armor of Christians. Soldier of Christ that you are, wear (use) This Armor always during the day, and during the night, and everywhere. Without It do not undertake any task, whether it be sleeping or traveling, resting or working, eating or drinking, be always clothed with This Protective Armor. Adorn and protect every single one of your members with This Victorious Sign. At the sight of This Sign the infernal powers flee scared and stupefied.” St. Augustine used to say to the Catechumens: “We must confront the enemy with the Symbol and Sign of the Cross; so that the Christian vested with these weapons may easily triumph over the ancient and prideful tyrant.” St. Athanasius says: “By means of the Sign of the Cross the works of magic are made impotent; all the enchantments lose their efficacy. By means of It, the impetus of the most brutal will is moderated and pacified.”